Responsive Web Design

responsive_web_designDid you ever visit your favorite website on your smart phone and can’t seem to find your way around? The images are too big to fit your screen, skewing its proportions, and the navigation bar is on the bottom of the site. Where are the links you’re used to seeing? You’re forced to switch to “web layout” hoping to feel a sense of ease, only to realize everything is now teeny tiny and you’re stuck enlarging and scrolling frantically around before you give up and put your phone away. How can this problem be fixed? By utilizing a responsive web design.

Responsive web design remedies these issues and more. Responsive Web Design (RWD) utilizes codes (think JavaScript) to ensure a maximum and streamlined viewing experience for consumers across a variety of devices.

The key to RWD is making sure your website looks great no matter what the size of the screen it is being displayed on. There are a few factors that play into this, the main ingredient being flexibility. Put simply, flexible grids and images are used to ensure the website can easily adjust to the size of the device it is being displayed on. As opposed to absolute units such as pixels and points, percentages are used for sizing so the page can easily adapt to the screen it is being viewed on. This adjusts columns on a website, either enlarging them horizontally when viewed on a desktop, or shrinking down to a vertical column on a mobile device. Think of a weather website, such as AccuWeather. When you check the weather for your town, the forecast is displayed horizontally spanning across your screen, with more content listed underneath. When you check on your phone, the forecast is displayed vertically with no other content showing on the page. This is responsive web design.

CSS code is used to read the characteristics of the device the website is being viewed on and make the adjustments necessary for an optimized experience for the user.

If this isn’t incentive enough to include responsive web design on your site, Google is now requiring that websites have optimized versions across all devices in order to ensure high rankings on results pages. (Will Google Penalize You For This?)

Responsive web design is an important factor to consider when building and optimizing your brand or company’s website. Ensuring a positive user experience is one of the key elements for having a successful, high trafficked website. You’ve engaged with your audience on social media, you’ve streamlined your content and strategized your marketing plan, and you have begun taking advantage of SEO services. You have done everything you can to drive traffic to your website and you want to sell advertising and start bringing in a profit. This is why responsive web design is so crucial. You want your customers to return to your site because of the ease and aesthetics. You want your customer to recommend your site to a friend, and share it on Facebook. You want to make sure that when their friend accesses your site from a phone, or a tablet, or a laptop, that they have the same positive experience. Responsive web design will elevate your website from being a low-budget local business to a sleek, experienced brand.